Study designs of evaluations included in the review
Randomised controlled trials (RCTs) were eligible for inclusion.
Specific interventions included in the review
Studies comparing CBT with an inactive control were eligible for inclusion. The included studies used individual CBT and group CBT with and without a significant family component. The number of sessions ranged from 10 to 18. The controls received no treatment.
Participants included in the review
Studies of participants aged 18 years or younger with a diagnosis of anxiety disorder were eligible for inclusion. Where the study included both diagnosed and undiagnosed cases of anxiety, the study was included only if the outcomes for the diagnosed group were reported separately. The anxiety disorder had to be the specific target of the intervention. Studies of participants with obsessive-compulsive disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder or simple phobia were excluded. The participants in the included studies were aged from 6 to 16 years and were diagnosed with social phobia, over-anxious disorder, social anxiety disorder, generalised anxiety disorder and avoidant disorder. In most of the studies the sample had mixed disorders. Apart from one school-based study, treatment took place in a clinical setting.
Outcomes assessed in the review
Studies using formal diagnosis as an outcome variable were eligible for inclusion. Studies relying on self-report measures for diagnosis were excluded. The primary outcome of interest was the number of cases that were diagnosis-free at the post-treatment assessment. Four different interview schedules were used to establish diagnosis. The follow-up in the included studies was only until the end of treatment (10 to 18 weeks).
How were decisions on the relevance of primary studies made?
The authors did not state how the papers were selected for the review, or how many reviewers performed the selection.